By Winston Burton
One of biggest challenges SEO practitioners face is getting their clients to implement SEO recommendations that differ from what the clients believe should take precedence. Few things are more frustrating than yielding to client dictates and setting off down the road, only to have to make an expensive and time-consuming U-turn when reaching a cul-de-sac in terms of results.
For clients to get results from any SEO campaign, they must implement SEO recommendations to improve key performance indicators over time. Here is a list of five things you can do to get clients to implement SEO recommendations so you can meet your goals and they can achieve their organic KPIs.
- We all love our Statements of Work. Every SOW should include some verbiage that the client must implement the recommendations or they will not see results. Clients must be held 100% accountable for the SEO agency not reaching its goals because the agency cannot implement the changes into the CMS.
- If the client does not have the resources to implement the SEO recommendations in house, charge them to implement the recommendations into the CMS but always make sure you back up the site in case you make a mistake. Always have development resources on hand.
- Educate your client on how SEO works and how all the pieces tie together to create common goals, i.e. increase visibility, traffic and conversions. If they have a firm understanding of how SEO works–specifically the aspects of organic search that can increase ROI—and they do not implement the SEO recommendations, they will not get their bonuses this year.
- Keep a running list of when you delivered all your recommendations. Present it to key stakeholders on a frequent basis to help get the recommendations pushed through the system and show them that to be successful, the ball is in their court.
- Prioritize recommendations in terms of the highest business impact. Clients need to know the top things they should be doing from an SEO perspective to move the needle. Make sure you prioritize the recommendations that can increase the bottom line and drive business value once they are implemented.
- Put together a forecast so clients can see how much money they are leaving on the table. Also, conduct an SEO audit that shows how their competitors are beating them and dominating the Search Engine Result Pages for their vertical industry. Always show case studies of other clients that have implemented your recommendations and, as a result, increased organic performance month over month and year over year.
Implementing SEO recommendations can be quite challenging. But it’s rewarding when the recommendations are implemented and clients see increases in revenue, traffic, visibility and a positive ROI. Always document when you send your deliverables to cover yourself and assess the client’s resources up front to plan accordingly.
Winston joined Acronym in 2014 with over ten years in search marketing. Prior to joining Acronym, Winston was the VP of SEO at Havas Media, one of the world’s top ten global ad agencies. He started the SEO practice for Havas and built the practice to include Clients such as Choice Hotels, Fidelity, Exxon, Volvo and Marc Jacobs to name a few. Winston spearheaded SEO strategy including content marketing, mobile, link building, and all technical areas of SEO. Winston’s career also included the SEO Manager role at Rosetta and time at Zeta Interactive.